Originally Posted by Armaegis
Ok, this argument I can understand, rather than all the other flap going on. It also marks an interesting point about marketing to audiophiles... targetting general wants/needs vs targetting neuroses (not necessarily mutually exclusive, but still).
I actually do think a separate DSD box is elegant. Just because it's digital doesn't mean it's handled the same way. It's quite fundamentally different from a pcm box and should have its own separate hardware etc. So why muddy it up and put everything together which (could) compromise both?
Yes I agree, there are usually bad compromises that need to be made if you want DSD support in addition to PCM since they are so fundamentally different. So yes, many times it is better to outsource it to a dedicated DSD DAC instead of doing internal conversions that are detrimental for the sake of having another buzzword.
I guess the creme de la creme for a neurotic audiophile is to have a DAC chip that natively can decode both PCM and DSD with no internal black-box conversions inside the chip.
Interesting article on the matter, skip to the DSD and PCM sections: http://www.audiostream.com/content/qa-thorsten-loesch-amrifi